Dev Diary – February 2023

February has been quite a handful, the dev diary is late just because of that! Lots of stuff happened but I also have plenty to show, so let’s get started!

Our test driver is getting ready. Buckle up!

What’s up?

First of all, I finally moved! I’m living on my own once again. I know this story has been going on for quite some time, but it’s not an ordinary event for me given what happened in the past months. Right now I’m still trying to settle in and fill the house with my belongings so I can really call this “home”- it’s not as easy as I hoped, but I manage. It took over three weeks to get an internet connection and a nice desk, but that’s sorted out now. I hope this will be the last month where general life events will keep me away from development do often!

This is my new work setup! Pretty proud of it. It will become a mess in no time…

But now, back to Downtown Club! The artist gets the spotlight this month.

Driver gloves, helmet and suit

I’m super happy to tell you that all driver suit models and skins are finally complete! They got a great glow up since last month: correct proportions, improved textures, better shader, better model rigging. I’m still working on the new hand grab poses for the steering wheel but you can already see the gloves in action. The wrist IK really adds to the feeling!

Yes, I added the fist hand pose! Such a basic gesture makes all the difference with a pair of winning gloves like these.

To avoid weird glitches with body and arms, especially when sitting in the car, you will be able to only see your own hands like many other VR games do. Mirrors instead will reflect your full driver model, but there will be systems in place to prevent visual oddities when the player moves around too much.

The Downtown is growing up

The new Downtown environment has been fully functional for a while, but now it’s getting the visuals ready! We settled on a good workflow for creating buildings and I have to say the game looks quite striking now. What you see is still a work in progress and most roadside objects are still missing, but more details will be added soon.

I believe this is a clear improvement from the old look of the same environment which, in comparison, didn’t appear plausible and convincing as a real city to me: buildings were very small and generic, road layout didn’t make any sense, things were placed almost randomly. Hard to believe almost a year passed since that video, it’s a lot of time and it hurts me thinking the game still isn’t ready… But let’s move on. 🙂

Anything else?

Most of the development of DTC this month went to the above graphics integration. Not much time was left to work on other features, but I always find time to debug the game, fix issues that were left from the old V-Speedway codebase, check performance, and update this website every now and then.

The last thing I was doing on my own in DTC, before working more hand-in-hand with the artist, was making the final version of the car dashboards. Hope you like the modern dash of the Leroux Griffe3! Please ignore the center dashboard, that’s a placeholder!

It’s not really visible here, but this dashboard has some 3D elements!

Wrapping up

Time is flying faster than ever for me. I often look back at the past few days and can’t help to feel like I haven’t done enough, despite sitting here and working on this project for most of my waking hours. The intrusive thoughts are definitely there, but the trick is to listen and acknowledge what they really mean.

Cool things are bound to happen this year though. Personally, I can’t wait to unveil what’s cooking on the bottom of the Games page of this website. See you around!

Danjel Ricci “SkyArcher”